- Prices between £2699 - £2899
- 11 days
10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners and a Yucatán cooking class
10 nights’ accommodation in twin room boutique hotels
All activities, from kayaking to Mayan pyramids, included. Local Flash Pack guide and driver
Max 14 Flashpackers
Private airport transfers anytime on Day 1, group airport drop-off on Day 11, country travel in private air-conditioned minibus
Holbox Dream, Holbox
Island beach retreat by the Gulf of Mexico
Thatched bungalows, each with a private terrace hammock, stretch across the tropical grounds on the tiny island of Holbox. There’s a pool, a spa and alfresco dining.
Why we stay here
A powdery white beach is just moments away and the rooms are chic, with plants, bright fabrics and wooden flooring. Whip up a morning coffee and wander along the sands.
Racho Encantado, Bacalar
A ranch-style hideaway on the shores of Laguna Bacalar
A lovely hotel just moments from Bacalar, one of Mexico’s “Magic Towns”, with airy balcony rooms, a pool and a lakeside Mayan restaurant.
Why we stay here
Lantern-lit gardens, hammocks and a luxury spa: there’s little not to love about this dreamy lakeside retreat. The wooden jetty makes a great spot for sundowners.
El Mesón del Marqués, Valladolid
17th Century colonial townhouse in Valladolid
A colonnaded restaurant with à la carte Yucatecan dishes steals the show in this warm and welcoming hotel, situated in the centre of charming Valladolid
Why we stay here
Its character matches that of the town, with graceful arches, bright flowering trees and an inviting pool in the sunny courtyard. Props to the locally-made toiletries.
The Flash Pack Promise
Here at Flash Pack, we’re committed to unique adventures that deliver great value for money. We pack our trips with epic experiences (unlike other companies, all activities are included), hand-pick stylish hotels and match you with like-minded people.
Cocktails in Cancún
Flashpackers, welcome to Mexico! A private transfer awaits to whisk you to your hotel. A textbook tropical paradise, Cancún is a Mayan Riviera gem, with powdery white beaches and emerald oceans that are typical of the Quintana Roo region, alongside natural delights such as Nichupté Lagoon – a vast mangrove area that’s home to crocodiles, iguanas, leopard frogs and more. Cancún’s beaches have drawn spring breakers for decades but we’ll be skipping the touristy Hotel Zone in favour of downtown, where the locals hang out. This bustling district is teeming with restaurants, leafy parks and waterfront avenues. Take a mosey around the nearby streets before we meet at the hotel in the early evening. We’ll toast Cancún’s pirate history with a few mojitos at a Caribbean bar before heading onwards for a welcome meal. Get to know your fellow Flashpackers and guide over your first taste of Cancún cuisine in the balmy city heat.Read more
Cycling, street food and Tulum ruins
We’ll drive two hours south down the Yucatán Peninsula today to Tulum, a chic beachside town that’s steeped in Mayan culture. A day-long bike ride awaits, as we pedal past colourful posadas, palapa-roofed juice stalls and cafés framed by bougainvillea. Further out, we’ll cycle to the Tulum Ruins, an ancient Mayan city sprawled across the clifftops by the Caribbean Sea. This walled fortress was once the most powerful empire in the land. Explore pyramids dating back to the 13th Century, keeping an eye out for iguanas and spider monkeys that hang out in the pre-Columbian walls. Our adventure then continues to a local neighbourhood that’s filled with street art. Cycle around murals adorned with serpents and mythical gods before stopping for street food. We’ll feast on the best tacos in town, along with fried empanadas and citrus-marinated pork (poc chuc). Then it’s over to a nearby cenote, for a cooling swim in a freshwater lagoon.Read more
Wild swim an underwater kingdom
Today we’ll explore Sac Actun, the world’s largest underwater cave spanning 215 miles. It’s brimming with remnants of the long-lost past, from prehistoric sloth remains to Mayan war shrines, alone with a rich ecosystem of fauna and tropical fish. Our first stop is Casa Cenote, a secluded grotto with velvety sands and sun-dappled shallows. Grand Cenote in up next, with its famous half-open half-closed entrance. See the bright sunlight streaking through the water, as you snorkel through hidden caverns and underwater rock formations. We’ll stop for lunch before saying hi to the Temple of Doom, a closed cenote accessed via three roof holes. One is big enough to leap carelessly from but the other two are narrower; an invitation for daredevils to pencil-drop 10 feet to the darkness below (your guide will help you). To top off a magical day we’ll dine back at the hotel and join the bartender for a private tequila tasting.Read more
Kayak a pirate lagoon
This morning, we travel three hours south down to Laguna Bacalar – the Lagoon of Seven Colours. Alive with pirate history, this freshwater lake sits off the sleepy fishing town of Bacalar, one of the oldest communities in Quintana Roo. The best way to explore it is by kayak, so after checking into our hotel, we’ll jump aboard and paddle across the serene clear waters. Admire the lake’s different shades of blue and keep an eye out for stromatolites; coral-like structures considered to be the earliest signs of life on Earth (Bacalar is one of the few places where they’re found). Our three-kilometre route includes swimming in Pirates Canal and Black Cenote, a unique cave that you fly your way into, Tarzan-style, on a rope swing. After, we’ll wander around Fort San Felipe, built to defend Bacalar against English pirates of the Caribbean and Mayan rebel groups. Then we’ll watch the sunset over the lagoon.Read more
The secrets of Yucatán cooking
Get set to cut across the Yucatán Peninsula today, in a four-hour journey north to our hotel near the state capital of Mérida, the cultural heartland of the Yucatán. After settling in, we’re heading to a private cooking class. We’ll learn about the mass of cultural influences that lie behind Yucatán cuisine, from Mayan indigenous people to Spanish colonizers and English, Dutch and Lebanese merchants. Then, it’s time to get stuck in, as you and your fellow Flashpackers conjure up a three-course Yucatán meal from scratch. Dishes you’ll master include everything from chicken lime soup to Yucatecan tamales and Chaya empanadas (pastries stuffed with local herbs and Edam cheese). You can also expect treats such as cochinita pibil (slow-cooked pork in banana leaves and an orange marinade) and stewed papaya candy on the menu. This is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in local culture, so dive right in over a León Negra beer or two.Read more
Pyramids and a chocolate factory
Today we’ll drive 90 minutes to the ancient Mayan city of Uxmal, a UNESCO World Heritage site. These archaeological ruins spread across 150 acres of grassland savannah, creating an Aladdin’s Cave of pre-Columbian wonders. We’ll take a good look around, admiring fabled buildings such as the majestic Governor’s Palace, the House of the Turtles, the Quadrangle of the Nuns and the Pyramid of the Magician, which towers more than 90 feet in the air. We’ll pop by a local hacienda for lunch and a cenote swim before arriving at Uxmal’s chocolate museum. Based on the family-run Peón sugar estate, this is one of just four museums around the world created by chocolatier Eddy Van Belle. Amble around a botanical garden filled with delicate cacao trees and learn about the history of Mexican chocolate, from its Mayan heyday to modern times. Naturally, this sensory journey involves a fair amount of eating the good stuff, too.Read more
A day of bucket-list hits
We’ll make an early start to beat the crowds Chichén Itzá, a two-hour drive south. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, this was once of the most powerful empires in Mayan culture. Don’t miss the Temple of Kukulkan (El Castillo), with its serpentine design and corners facing cardinal directions that people used to navigate by. Stand in the right spot and you’ll be able to hear your whistle echoing off the pyramid walls. Other must-sees include the Temple of the Warriors, the El Caracol observatory and the ball court where Mayans once held rituals. A morning of marvels done, we’ll stop for a dip Ik Kil Cenote. A stone staircase leads down to this extraordinary green pool, with naturally formed balconies and the sun bouncing off hanging vines above. Then it’s onto to Valladolid, a lovely Mayan city filled with pastel stucco and elegant colonnades. We’ll take a wander around our new home, stopping at a private museum filled with Mexican folk art and a local market selling dragon fruit ice-cream. We finish with dinner at a local neighbourhood restaurant.Read more
Escape to an island hideaway
Today we’re heading for some R&R on Holbox, a tiny traffic-free island that sits lightyears away from the hustle of modern life. We’ll drive 90 minutes to the port town of Chiquilá and then take a half-hour ferry ride across the lagoon to our island haven, a protected nature reserve with flamingos and pelicans nesting off the palm-fringed coastline. A small fishing community, Holbox is right off the tourist radar and life here is delightfully unhurried. We’ll lunch at our hotel before moseying around the island. The entire place is just 25 miles long and people travel by bike, dune buggies or gulf carts. Pass by colourful thatched homes, stalls heaped with fruit and beaches with free-standing hammocks. In the evening, we’ll head for a hip rooftop hangout with a pool, jacuzzi and the best sunset views on the island. Settle in and watch the sky turn purple over a rum cocktail or three.Read more
Slow livin’ on sandy beaches
A day of freedom stretches ahead today. We’re on island time now, so wake up late and enjoy a lazy breakfast. Soak up rays on the beach or wander through the warm surf, flip-flops in hand. Drift around the sandy streets, pausing at boutiques and pavement cafés for a freshly squeezed fruit juice (or jugs of margaritas – this is a holiday, after all). Whale-watching trips are available should you wish to see the gentle giants of the ocean, and there’s plenty of scope for snorkelling in the glittering clear sea. As night draws in, join your fellow Flashpackers for beers and live music in the local town square. Holbox is surprisingly lively at night. Locals gather in courtyard restaurants, where the local catch translates into fish empanadas, octopus cerviche and Holbox-style lobster. Grab a coconut cocktail – harvested from fruit lying just moments away – and salute the starry island night.Read more
Boat an island paradise
For our last day in Eden, we’ll take a private boat trip around the shimmering emerald province, passing hidden coves and tiny uninhabited islands. These include
(the Isle of the Birds), a wildlife sanctuary with over 150 species of bird – including snowy egrets, white ibis and boat-billed herons – tucked away between mangrove, cacti and wooden walkways. At certain times of year, the sandbar at Punta Mosquito is filled with hundreds of flamingos, so if that’s the case, we’ll take you here rather than Isla Pájaros. We’ll also mosey around the multicoloured landscape of Passion Island, and take a dip in Yalahau, a freshwater pond, which – like all cenotes on our trip – is a delight to swim in. Back at the hotel, we’ll gather at sunset for a special farewell meal. Raise a toast to the Yucatán peninsula and hit the bars of Holbox for our final night in Mexico.
Y’all gonna miss Yucatán
Ah, Flashpackers. This is our last day in the marvellous Mayan Riviera. We’ll take you back to Cancún International Airport via a ferry ride back to Chiquilá and a two-hour drive. Remember, you can always check out other Flash Pack escapes in the region, including our Colombian getaway and our break-out to Brazil. Wherever you head to next, ride high from one helluva adventure. You’ve been wild swimming in some of the world’s most remote and beautiful freshwater lagoons, and kayaked Laguna Bacalar, passing rare stromatolites, a pirate canal and a 17th Century fort. You’ve cycled around beachfront Tulum, with street art, street food and cliffside Mayan ruins. You’ve been dazzled by the Mayan empires of Uxmal and Chichén Itzá and you’ve learnt the secrets of Yucatán cooking, topped off with an secret island escape. Flashpackers, it’s fair to say you’ve lived a million lives in this past fortnight alone.Read more
- Fly into and out of Cancún International Airport
- Your guide will be with you throughout the trip, including your experience of wild swimming at Sac Actun, where they’ll give safety briefings, unearth quieter spots and share local myths behind each of the caves
- Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control. From time to time we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh
- We take safety very seriously on Flash Pack adventures, click here to learn more
- Gourmands, get set 9 days
- Caving and kayaking 12 days
- Step into paradise 5 days
- Old Havana hues 8 days
- Bring your swing 7 days
- Let's get tropical 9 days